tv C-SPAN2 Weekend CSPAN May 12, 2012 7:00am-8:00am EDT
all. too much bureaucracy can tie up the infrastructure projects delaying transportation and increasing construction costs. according to the federal highway administration, private delivery process could take 15 years from planning through construction. this is simply unacceptable. another analysis by the national service transportation policy and review commission found that of $500 million project that took 14 years to complete would see its cost--did the impact of the ways and inflation. we have had other hearings in triplicate due to these delays. the conference will have real reforms for the delivery process. i believe the conference report by this committee must set hard deadlines for federal agencies to approve and expedite the process. in half the time or less in this
country and this has to change. these reforms must delegate more authority to states. state and environmental laws in place of federal laws where it makes sense to do so. we must simplify the approval process for a project within the facilities right away. this is something we could do very easily. if we can't agree to these common sense changes we can improve the project, producing the cost of transportation projects and delivering economic and safety benefits for our nation in a more timely fashion and as the saying goes we can do much more with less. i thank you for -- i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. senator mendez is not here. representative costello is not here. am i right on that?
representative whitfield is here. three minutes. >> maybe i will go up here. >> i think it will raise you. >> madam chair, we appreciate the opportunity to be at this conference. my great honor to be here on behalf of the energy and commerce committee with our chairman, fred upton. we are where the american people do not have a very high regard for congress as an institution. we see approval ratings of 14%. we have the opportunity to show the senate and house can come
together and ask needed legislation to meet many infrastructure needs of our great country. we are very much aware of that the senate passed this legislation overwhelmingly with 76 votes. we are very much aware that the house has shown overwhelmingly that it does support keystone language. we would like to see additional reforms on the highway bill. i for one thing we can be successful but that the american people would be disappointed if this fell apart because of something like keystone particularly when the environmental impact statement out of the department of state after stating it for four years they said between the option of
not building of a pipeline or building the pipeline but preference would be to build the pipeline. there has been discussion today about how long the route is. it is 1700 miles. the only portion change was 60 miles within the state of nebraska and the governor of nebraska, legislature support this pipeline. i would just say democrat and republican administrations have never treated it as a hazardous material. i would just say there would be great disappointment once again, two pieces of legislation that the majority of people support and support very strongly. i yield back the balance of my
time. >> thank you. >> hello, hello, hello. we begin by sharing. this should be a good omen. representative mica, i want to begin by thanking senator boxer and senator >> of -- inhofe forgetting the bill done. the example you have such free each and every one of us around this table traditionally this is the most bipartisan, the most popular and the least difficult bill to get through both houses and there is a good reason for this. this bill meets our obligation to the most important parts of the economy. not only on its own terms but
because this bill seems so many other parts of the u.s. economy. i have a very long list of my most favorite and least favorite parts of the bill. but i am not going to devote my few minutes to be tailing my druthers. i am not going to speak to them. i am going to try to practice what i have been preaching. especially when i say we simply must get a bill out of this conference committee. this is likely to be the only jobs bill in the 112th congress that most americans would recognize as such. the bill already incorporates a ton of compromises.
get ready for it. there have to be more compromises for the sake of jobs, for the sake of the economy and for the sake of the people we represent. what do the job that was assigned to this conference committee and get the job done and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you so much. we are going to go to senator mendez. >> thank you to all distinguished members of the conference. we need to pass this bill quickly to generate and protect three million jobs. we need to pass this bill quickly to boost an essential asset for every business in america in the long term. from my perspective we need a bill that will protect dedicated transit funding.
by way of example this is true for hundreds of millions of people but new jersey transit hosts two fifty million passenger trips each year. it is true for many states throughout the country. we worked hard. i worked hard with senators johnson and shelby to develop a robust transit title that passed unanimously out of the banking committee and worked for that in this conference but we all know the senate transportation bill by virtue of what happened in committee and on the floor by senate democrats, senate republicans and house democrats. the lead question is whether our half republican colleagues will work in a constructive way to pass the bill. we are on the cusp of giving our states and businesses and workers the certainty they need to make infrastructure investments and that certainty is critical in terms of
unlocking the type of investments over the long term that will create greater results. if we do not pass a bill we risks bankrupting the trust fund and seeing transportation funding coming to a screeching halt. given these high-stakes i would think no one in this room should put politics before retention and creation of three million jobs and put politics the for the needs of the business community and efforts to revitalize our economy. times to start negotiating from the senate bill that had bipartisan support and has a total element of all these titles in good faith. i hope that means keeping divisive environmental issues of of this bill. that is what we did in the senate process to get a widely bipartisan bill through the chamber and that is how we move forward. do we work in a bipartisan
manner and passed the transportation bill as we did in the senate or try to shift blame for the bill's failure. i hope we make the right decision that will help america grow and get people back to work and lay the foundation for long-term growth. >> we are going to hear from representative inhofe followed by representative nadler. >> i hope we can work together. and allow local governments to fund important projects. we ask the states to go with short-term extensions. and cancellation of many new project. anytime a transportation says emphasize the certainty of funding.
you can produce a bill that will put people back to work beaters the reform programs that too large and less than bureaucratic red tape. we have three west virginians on this committee and a tremendous need for bridge repair and road construction. our state is one of the most beautiful state in the union but our terrain -- to build our roads. last year in charleston, with house chair ranking member, the sentiment of those in the room that day was washington slows the process. environmental review and bureaucratic policies tie the hands of the state and delay construction and time is money. concurrently rather than consecutively to save money. granting states are categoric exemption on existing right of way can allow states to add new lanes of highway with the
environmental review process within the performed one and encouraging states to enter public/private partnership to help states leverage federal funds and decrease the need to spend money and maintaining roads and bridges. and classified as hazardous materials would increase costs and constrain the ability to improve infrastructure. the reason of a highway bill is so important and the reason we are all here is jobs. the surface transportation program is a jobs bill. companies will hire in every single state. the keystone pipeline means jobs and energy. being from an energy state we need to tap our own vast resources so i would echo the thoughts of many in this room that we can work together and reform surface transportation programs eager to maximize revenue and maintained a high with trust fund for the future. we need to put people back to work given a certainty the job will be there. this can be done with reforms to success and a lot we wait the more extensive it will be and
more roads and bridges will continue to become deficits. i pledge to work together and yield back the rest of my time. >> representative nadler, you are next. >> thanks to the house and senate colleagues for successfully getting transportation reauthorization bill to conference. to be part of the conference committee on hope we can report a bill that all of us can be proud to support. for that to happen we have to work in a bipartisan manner and abandon the poison pills that have been discussed such as the keystone pipeline and some environmental streamlining provisions. there is bipartisan support for streamlining measures but the language to the house bill life under cuts need. i have concerns about the keystone pipeline and the impact on global warming and the benefit to american consumers but that is what the normal environment review process is supposed to evaluate. the house bill mandates approval
of a project to proceed in the normal process for. that is the administration's objection to this provision and one that should make it a nonstarter for every one. the senate bill includes the projects of national and regional significance that reestablished in current law. we recognize the traditional transportation funding programs were insufficient to finance many infrastructure projects of national or multistate regional significance. the project of national regional significance is designed to deal with this problem. i'm glad to see the senate bill retains this program and concerns the program is an authorization for general fund appropriations and might not be comprehensive enough to address goods movement around the country. on transit it appears we are all on the same page in supporting maintaining that stable source of funding for public transportation programs. there are some transit program policy issues to discuss but i'm optimistic the trend that side
of the bill can be done without controversy. i am sure all of us have issues to focus on and hopefully we can resolve the mall and get a bill done quickly so we don't have to pass another extension at the end of june which is many people mentioned denies certainty and not passing a major bill at this point. which the country desperately needs, jobs. i look forward to working with everyone for passage of the most important jobs bill in this congress. i thank you and yield back. >> thank you. >> i thank chairwoman boxer for holding this. as a member of the ways and means committee, chairman mr. kemp and mr. blumenauer. the best results for this conference agreement is a highway bill that allows us to live within our means. we hear that a lot from our
constituents balancing those two results and this committee must reach an agreement that accepts this new reality. we must have real reforms that reduce waste and redundancy that we all hear about from our local transportation officials and state transportation officials with respect to our highway program. something you have been involved with and was mentioned by mr. duncan and others. would like to reemphasize those reforms as part of a final package that goes forward. the agreement must include a strengthened maritime title. by reforming the trust fund with provisions such as the one sponsored by the colleague in the house and other provisions and policies that will ensure u.s. maritime industry is competitive with the rest of the world are very important as we
move forward. these reforms combined with what has already been mentioned a number of times, the keystone pipeline. a big jobs bill. big infrastructure program are the key ingredients for a highway bill that results in job creation and economic growth in our country and i look forward to working with you and the rest of our colleagues to produce a bill. >> thank you. congresswoman brown. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator boxer is not here. it is not anyone in this room but there happen to be on this conference and many members in the house, not anyone in this room constantly goes to the floor and tells about the senate and i say thank god for the united states senate particularly with the transportation bill. they set the example. and not putting issues germane to the transportation bill.
transportation is the engine that put america to work. the competition is already there. the chinese $50 billion in transit and what we are trying for the first time since ronald reagan, cut the funding for transit. there are many areas we could agree on, one stop for the process that we could cut down on the amount of time for project. let me take this time to say i support amtrak 100%. twenty-nine million passengers. we need to continue to invest in it. what our country needs is a surface transportation bill that strengthens our infrastructure and as someone was talking about, walking of the walk. putting the american people to work. thank you, mr. chairman and i
yield back the balance of my time. >> we will move to representative shuster. >> and look forward to working with youth and all my colleagues in a bipartisan manner. i want to start by saying i agree with what senator inhofe said. transportation infrastructure the core function of government. i go back to adam smith and the founding fathers who argued the three things government should provide a security, justice and maintaining public works to facilitate commerce so i fully concur with senator inhofe and the founding fathers. but senator durbin -- durbin mentioned last time we did the bill was bipartisan but the last two times it was bipartisan but the economic situation was far different.
the economy was strong last two times we passed transportation bills. the trust fund was flush with money and we had congressionally directed funding but we face unsustainable deficits and debt. we need to make sure we're moving forward with a bill that is paid for in a responsible way. not smoke and mirrors but make sure we pay for this in the right way. there are things we added to this. the keystone pipeline will improve our energy, the ability to get energy and create jobs. i believe this bill can be a job creator. can improve the economy but the key to what we believe in rows are the reforms. streamlining reforms. it takes 15 years to build a major construction project in this country. the state's lack the necessary flexibility to beside the
greatest transportation needs in their states and also putting mandates on them that restrict how they spend the money and coming from pennsylvania with 5,000 be efficient bridges it is unconscionable to say you have to spend on white had when it could cause death to people on the roadways if we are not able to spend those precious dollars on rebuilding bridges. we have a historic opportunity to reform transportation for the first time in the 50 years we have not highway bill. i want to look at one project a week ago. $680 million project. if we put our reforms in which we believe will reduce in half the time for major projects on that project with interest alone 60 to $90 million. multiplied that across $260 billion highway bill or $109 billion highway bill and you have tremendous savings for the american people so we can do more with less.
i look forward to concluding this in a successful and bipartisan way. with that i yield back. >> representative cummings. >> i want to thank you for your leadership. the choices we make will determine whether opportunities become more livable and fellow citizens will have the mobility that will enable them to move ahead in their lives. the choices we make will affect millions of jobs in our nation. and report released last year the bipartisan policy center found overwhelming evidence the united states is failing, highways and bridges and transit systems and consistently falling short. and the long term needs of growing population and economy. before we discuss, recommit ourselves to investing in our
own nation. the development of transportation infrastructure that supports economic growth and success and shared national priorities. it plea wish we had been able to write a comprehensive transportation authorization bill in a bipartisan manner characterized by previous house bills. as the house has failed to act the senate passed legislation must form the basis for discussion. there are several provisions i will recommend to the legislation i know that the senate bill reauthorize is the disadvantaged enterprise program to mediate the program. i strongly support these programs. information from the department of transportation regarding these programs. >> without objection we will do that. >> let me make clear as ranking member on oversight and reform i will strongly oppose any
proposal that might be raised to use federal workers as a piggy bank to pay for a highway bill for any other legislation particularly when we have refused to ask the richest in the nation to that invest one additional penny. time is short. i encourage all members to work with a profound sense of urgency and dedication to draft a final bill as equal to our nation's needs. i yield back. >> we move to representative bishop and representative boswell. >> i am honored to address a handful of my colleagues and so many senate staffers today. the idea somebody from the resources committee is on this highway bill means somebody screwed up somewhere. on the highway portion there is a lot of good reform in the senate version and even more good reforms in the house
version. the keystone pipeline is an important issue and the restore act, most of which is good is on this bill but there are extraneous issues that bring questions to me as a member of my committee and someone who lives in the west. the idea of extending for one additional year is nice but doesn't solve the problem when the house committee has passed a long term version which gives certainty to local communities on when they will get their money and has long term solution to the funding of s r s. the conservation fund is authorized through 2015 which means current authorization is longer than the authorization of this bill but the idea of a rising or extended another seven years is strange especially when it adds $1 billion of new mandatory spending which needlessly has to be offset. that is $700 million in mandatory spending which is double what the program
appropriated for each of the last five years and $250 million more than the president requested. when we have questions of the division between fit -- state and federal money whether it is useful or part of the slush fund for purposes of this fund being used for good programs but others that have been abusive and this provision has had no hearing on the house or senate side. if this continues it mean this bill will be less likely to be financially balanced and will create additional and and needed opposition to this particular bill. somebody from the west and this committee looking at these provisions i find them strange. i look forward to working with most of my members to finding solutions for long-term funding for the highway program. thank you. >> thank you very much. rep boswell. >> thanks for your hard work.
we appreciate it. this is for some time. appreciate your work. i have known chairman michael on a personal basis for a long time. we travel and work together. i thought we could have a transportation bill but we couldn't have one. i think we still can. i am the eternal optimist. we plant a seed where things grow. it is time -- we have got to get this going. this country has so much at stake. i have been an advocate for alternative fuels my entire career in the legislature. i lived -- i saw what happens to communities, people just like us when they don't have fuel. we don't need to go there. seems like everything has been set.
we haven't said it. could you bring to later sessions some expert to tell us what keystone really means? we all understand -- there seems to be a lot of diverse opinion what happens to the finished product and what it means to gas at the pump. i would like to know from an expert if there is such a possibility. i want us to get moving. i don't want something to happen in your district or mine. we have a lot of deficient bridges. i remember the pain we felt when the bridge in minnesota went down. we should not let that happen. are country was built on compromise. all of you studied it. i have too. it has made us what we are. we have to have it one way or
the other. we have a platform to work from. you showed us your ability to bring people together. i am counting on you doing it here. the feel any pressure or anything. you demonstrated that. i want to be supportive and get people back to work and get those contractors busy. let's not have another bridge falls somewhere because we couldn't do our work. with that i yield back and thank you for your efforts. >> i see senator schumer is back. three minutes to you. followed by representative bucshon. how do you say it?
herrera but there. i am so sorry. i got it now. >> chairman boxer, pleasure to be here. thank you for your amazing leadership on this bill. you and senator inhofe and deserve real accommodation for coming together on an outstanding bill in a bipartisan way. just what america wants. we want jobs. and infrastructure and we wanted to be done in a bipartisan way. i hope your example will be the theme of this conference. whatever one's ideology, left leg of the right or center i hope we can all agree investing in infrastructure is a fundamental function of government. i remind my republican colleagues the first big federal investment in infrastructure was started not by a republican but
by a wig. henry clay. the party being the predecessor of the republican party. he decided internal improvements were something the federal government should do. those were high ways to open up the far west kentucky, ohio, western pennsylvania benefited from those internal improvements. the federal government has been involved in for a long time. a few say the federal government shouldn't be involved in mass-transit but they are distinct minority. the polling shows three parties agree. all across the country and in the home state of new york. there are roads, bridges and transit systems in need of serious repair and construction industry has been talked about, so out of work and this is the best way to put them back.
so i am going to skip that part of my speech because i know people have waited a long time. i want to make a few quick points. the senate bill gives states like new york the tools and resources we need to provide a large legacy to public transportation systems more adequately. i know a lot of my colleagues don't have much mass-transit but for us mass-transit is for you what highways are in new york city. we get 3.5 million people, and amazing thing. and economic engine. close to metropolitan area. 10% of gdp. without mass-transit it couldn't exist. some places need wide open spaces and sins cities spread out but some cities--new york is one of them and we can't do it without mass-transit. we serve 2.6 billion trips a
year to commuters and a 5,000 square mile area that covers twenty million people. we can't continue to ignore the backlog. i ask unanimous consent and the rest of my statement be put in the record. we need help on mass-transit and a number of us on this committee will fight very hard. it is important. >> thank you, senator. now i will get it right and we will hear from representative herrera butler. >> thank you. is exciting to be part of this committee. time for a plan that will strengthen our nation's transportation infrastructure. a strong transportation system is as important to my corner of washington state as any other region in the country. it is critical. a link for the economy from vancouver to libya. safe, efficient movement of people and products means jobs for my region and all of our
regions. working with both members from both parties to keep the transportation system funded in a responsible way. the reason i am here is for solutions. folks in southwest washington. i want to see the best agreement from this committee and rival do my best to make that happen and if we have solid experience and new ideas. both are needed to produce the solutions that we need. the house version included innovative ideas that would help us complete projects more quickly and efficiently for. taxpayer dollars keeping our commitment to save and reliable infrastructure. there are a challenges and differences we have to work out and the biggest is dwindling highway trust fund. that must be strengthened. however lot of merit but one is neither does provides a solution for how to pay for aging
infrastructure. we spent too a certain point but need to come up with a solution that is important. a lot of us believe in infrastructure and like the senator from new york said it is something the federal government needs to be paying attention to. the longer term bill that is paid for responsibly will best our constituents and the american people. i'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. thank you again for this opportunity. >> thank you very much. representative bishop and representative bucshon. >> thank you. madam chair, thank you for convening this conference committee to reauthorize our transportation program. i look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to put americans back to work to improve the nation's infrastructure. this committee have a real opportunity to complete what is likely to be the largest jobs package in the 112th congress.
many would agree it has taken too long to get to this point. we must find common ground and work to complete this bill lest we waste another construction season and risk the opportunity to support millions of jobs. none of us have ever seen a perfect piece of legislation but map 21 is good legislation. the bill passed overwhelmingly in the senate with a bipartisan majority of 74-22 and fully paid for. estimates suggest map 21 will save 1.8 million jobs and create an additional 1 million jobs. we have to get this done as quickly as possible. there are some sections of the senate bill i would like to see massaged like graduated driver's license provision leader of the project on national significance, positive control i strongly concur with the senate bill. i am troubled by portions of the house bill that would undermine our nation's and financial laws and eliminate local input on major infrastructure projects and tie the hands of federal
regulators. i am supportive of the provision in the house bill to affirm congress's role in allocating funding from the harvard maintenance trust fund for the needs. i hope this provision will expand to ensure all ports including small and medium ports benefit from better utilization of the harbor maintenance trust fund. an end this process it is my hope we can advance to our respective chambers the bill the american people can be proud of and that will put people back to work to improve our nation's infrastructure. i stand ready to work with any and all members of this panel to achieve that goal. i yield back the balance of my time. >> representative bucshon. >> as a freshman member of congress i quickly learned about our nation's transportation needs. everybody in this room can agree we need to create certainty to producing a bill that includes significant reforms, responsible funding and covering the longest period of time we can manage to
produce. in this fiscal climate we need to do more with less. we need to streamline the environmental review process, consolidate duplicative programs and spend our transportation dollars on projects with people and products. let's also give our state's flexibility by mandating mandates. my home state of indiana has a model transportation program. thanks to the innovative ideas of governor daniels indiana has invested $6.5 billion in transportation projects. part of this includes construction of interstate 69 through my district connecting the third largest city in indiana to our state's capital, indianapolis. this has been planned since 1965 and is just being built. the fact is government does not have enough money to meet our infrastructure needs. we need to involve the private sector in this process. every state should have the opportunity to replicate
indiana's successes without being punished financially. in addition we need to make sure the funding formula is allocated to each state fairly. indiana and a dozen additional states have been donor states for three decades. currently we give back $0.92 on the dollar but of late as the 1980s only $0.78 on the dollar. we need to create a formula to provide adequate funding to each stage and the amendment provides pace with dollars they contribute to the trust fund. the senate bill does not accomplish these goals and puts in the and and other states at risk for significant cuts. funding by eliminating equity bonus program. i would like to thank chairman mike and senator boxer for your leadership on these issues. i look forward to working for the bill that gets us on up half way to creating jobs and rebuild urination's infrastructure. >> is mr. crawford here?
note? we will -- if he comes we will go back to him. we will hear from representative hannah. >> can you hear me? >> i can hear you fine. >> thank you, madam chairman. i want to thank john mica for allowing me the privilege of being on this committee. i watched him and his staff worked tirelessly for the last year and a half and everyone has done their best to produce the best possible bill. i am privileged to witness that. as our contractor for 30 years and a freshman in congress i personally had hundreds of employees. i completed thousands of projects large and small and i am a member of operating engineers for 25 years. what i know is many millions of people could be put back to work immediately if we were to do our
job here today. what i know is they sit and wonder why they're not back to work. knowing investments in infrastructure are indeed just that. as was the national railroad, national highway system and all of that. these are not just expenses but investments in the future that pay for themselves. i look forward to working on this committee. i look forward to working with all of you the best of our ability and i have watched these extensions go on as a private citizen waiting for work, knowing that prices have never been lower in this country and becoming more competitive. now is the time to finish this. we are past time for extensions. this two year bill will soon be a 1-year bill. as mr. mica's five year bill will be a four year bill. i am tired of that.
the country is tired of that and i look forward to working with you all. >> associated general contractors very strong behind the senate bill. i would like to call on representative southerland. we welcome you. >> i would like to commend you and chairman michael for your leadership and it is a great privilege to serve in my first conference so welcome and thank you for the opportunity. my comments will be brief. so many people having left. very simple. >> the american people are listening. >> if the american people could speak here today they would say they want the transportation bill that adds value.
they understand value means quicker, more efficient. and i understand we need to do things differently to create value. when i 35 collapse in minnesota the bridge was rebuilt in 437 days. the american people would recognize that is value. the average project, there is very little value. the transportation bill, whatever we work with and produce must first have value. secondly the american people have the expectation that it be paid for. in the financial state we find ourselves in with calamity occurring across the ocean because of the sins of wasteful
spending. they believe that would add additional value and with the transportation bill, is paid for and we no longer live our lives and spend on credit, i think that would produce for the american people what they want most. that is certainty. certainty. i look forward to working with the other conferees and thank you for the time and i yield back. >> representative lankford. >> thank you. senator boxer, representative michael. thank you for your work and leadership. many long hours on the process as well. everyone in this room is committed to infrastructure but not everyone in this room is committed to oklahoma. just like i am not committed to your state. there is something unique when you live in the state instead of
just visit that makes you passionate about that pot hole, that bridge, that intersection that is unique to that. that is why it is essentials that we work to take the control out of this room and put it in each of our states. in the days to come people that live closest to that bridge make the decision about that bad bridge rather than someone who has never even visited our state. the people back in my town with gas as high as it is they see the sticker and they know 18.4 sense of that gallon of gas is going to pay for roads. i think they should know it paid for a road. it helped in their driving and transportation and movement of product around that. a simple request that we honor every gallon of gas that every american purchases to make sure
that goes back to where they think it actually goes back to and we streamline and make this process as efficient as possible. on may 26, 2002, there was a tragic accident where a barge hit a bridge and took out a 580 foot section of that bridge. right through a major highway cutting across the center of america. 64 days later that bridge was opened because as the federal government they said that was a priority project. we will make sure it is streamlined and all the decisions were made and people put attention to it and focus to it into a streamlined process was accomplished. it wasn't an environmental disaster because we did it faster. it was cheaper. we got the road open and we have a good bridge there now. streamlining, e efficiency, local control and decisionmaking and a few things that would
revolutionize this process for us. no earmarks and no tax increases. a simple process that i think we can agree to and look at the fiscal reality we deal with as well as the infrastructure reality we deal with and and this control back to the people who drive those road to the most. with that i yield back. >> in lieu of what you said i am going to put in a record i ask unanimous consent a study that shows in the last four years states have been getting back more than they put into the trust fund. i will share that with you so you can feel good about that. i don't think there is any objection to that. thank you very much. we will do that. and we have representative ribble. >> thank you, vice chairman michael. i want to associate myself with comments from my friends from
florida and oklahoma. when the federal government decides to build something quickly they can do it and they choose to do it. that is the choice that has been made. those choices have proven that we do not have to have the environment suffer because we want to get work done. it is straightforward and right before our face. for some reason will whole idea that a project must take 15 years to get done the american people wonder what is wrong with this process. they wonder what is wrong with congress and the government and why it doesn't work. we have examples where it can work. i really do appreciate the comments that were made and two examples that were made. we can have both. we have a streamlined approach and low-cost construction and we can do it correctly without even separating the environment.
it is not either/or and we ought to be working towards that end. i hope we can do that together and i look forward to working on this committee and thank you for the opportunity to be here. >> we have come to our final speaker. unless others come back. representative cravaack. >> truly an honor to be here today. it has been nice to hear. a majority in this room truly want to put america first. we have clamped down the rhetoric and we need to link arms and get the bill through. i look forward to working with my colleagues leaders in house and senate on this crucial legislation. maintaining the twenty-first century infrastructure is critically important for the economic competitiveness of our nation. however given our current budget environment we need to ensure this bill makes more efficient
use of taxpayer dollars without adding to the debt. this is the new reality. as a member of the committee of transportation infrastructure and committee of science based technology i had the opportunity to witness removing unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy and improve our nation's infrastructure and prudent investments, research can yield game changing innovation to make our nation's roads and bridges safer and more durable. i look forward to working with chairman michael and chairman all and all of those in the senate to update our transportation systems and provide the world's best infrastructure, a strong value to the taxpayer and to ensure transportation research projects have long-term benefits. i would like to thank chairman hall for his leadership on research provisions and thank chairman mike and john boehner for the opportunity to be a
conferee on this bill. i yield back. >> such a miracle happening. the house just started a vote. what we will do is chairman michael is going to make a one minute close and i will make a one minute close and we will go on our way but i have enjoyed this so much listening to you all and i would like to give you some feedback. go-ahead. >> i thank everyone, particularly some of the members of state and particularly the last members who spoke. i am pleased everyone has had an opportunity to participate and we had a beginning open conference here. everyone has contributed and everyone has different ideas and the important thing is we lend them and maintain our principles and everyone continues to be
part of trying to get this concluded. finally, let me say thank you to the staff. i was a senate staffer for five years here and worked for a member of congress before that and i know their hard work and dedication bring us together today. i appreciate you all taking charge and the lead working with members. we can accomplish something very successful for the american people. i look forward to working with senator boxer in a joint effort to get this done. >> 60 seconds. thank you so much, each and every one of view. i say please, staffers, relay my thanks. i heard no lines in the sand and a lot of passion on certain issues but we didn't hear the
rhetoric. we just heard you speak from the heart about what is most important. i am going to do everything to improve the senate bill. we will work with you. it does streamline dramatically. senator inhofe would never agree to a bill that didn't streamline. it does reform dramatically. it does ban earmarks and is fully paid for. these are important things. on the issues we have expressed on one side or the other, we are going to work together to get this done. we will be back here if necessary and we will do this out of the room but you may be able to put signatures on our conference report. if necessary we will be back here in 27 days. that is the time frame. i am excited about working with all of you and respect all of view and we will get it done and i am so thrilled you came and spoke today. thank you very much.
we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> this weekend on newsmakers senator john hogan talks about house and senate negotiations over the transportation bill. the house bill would require approval of the keystone pipeline through the senator's state of north dakota. newsmakers at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> these men go through things and have scars that no one can understand except each other.
>> the first thing that startle those was the relationship between harry truman and herbert hoover who are 2 such politically different men and ended up forming this alliance that neither of them would have anticipated and ended up being enormously productive and forms foundation of what would be a deep friendship. the letters between them later in their lives about how important they became to one another are extraordinary. >> it may be the most exclusive club in the world. michael duffy and nancy gibbs on private and public relationships of american presidents from truman and hoover to george h. w. bush and bill clinton sunday at 8:00 on c-span's q and a. >> over the past year c-span local content vehicle cities for has taken booktv and american history tv on the road from tampa to savannah, charleston to knoxville, last month in oklahoma city. the crews visited places that
define a city's heritage and literary life. june 2nd and third watch for special programming from wichita, can this on american history tv on c-span2 and 3. >> the house armed services committee spent 16 hours this past week drafting its annual defense authorization bill. rick maze is a congressional editor with military time is joining us from capitol hill. what are the key issues lawmakers will be debating when the bill comes to the house floor? >> they are issues we have seen before. talking about afghanistan though at the end of the day and not much they will do. probably has a sense congress resolution on things we got to look at. the site once again about detainees at guantanamo bay and cuba. still the same thing. will we ever have trials in the united states? should we close the present down altogether? and possibility by the obama
administration of training detainee's to third-party countries in return for a peace agreement in the middle east. those are the things we face. a larger fight than we already had this week over how much money to spend on defense and the committee has five billion more than the president asked for. democrats are not happy with the money being spent because of where it comes from. there's not much they can do because of where the money is being spent. most democrats would not want to vote -- they spend money on increasing military retirees and not many lawmakers will vote for increases on health care fees for people in an election year. >> in the committee debate democrats said the bill has billions of dollars for weapons systems the country doesn't need. how do republicans responded that?
>> that we need them. a simple disagreement between the two. >> what about the overall bill in terms of what an authorization bill does versus pentagon budget bill? >> this has specific authorization to do things. need to start new programs or continue programs that will expire. finnerty bonuses in the bill would expire on december 31st but mostly new start policy changes, pay raises and weapons programs and construction project. a bipartisan bill, 56-5 vote in the end. this is one of those committees that even though there's a lot of partisan bickering these days these committees get a bill done anonymously bipartisan basis. >> there must have been some contention in 16 hours. >> contention means you spend a lot of time voting and talking about things without many votes. one of the interesting fights is over a $100 million plan to create an east coast battery for
anti-missile defense for the possibility of having countries like iran have missiles that can reach the united states. the initial money is $100 million which is not very much in terms of $650 billion defense budget but long-range would be a $6 billion program. this is something to spend a lot overtime. >> defense programs are set to take a hit in january of 2013 because of the debt agreement last year. the authorization bill makes any accommodation for that? >> no it doesn't. nothing they can do would change that. >> what do you see ahead on the house floor and looking beyond that when is the senate likely to take up and pass the house? >> the senate is banking against the recess, the last week of may in the committee and when the senatese